I was lucky enough to have a swing of Minelab’s new SDC 2300 gold detector, to put it through its paces and see what it is capable of. In simple terms it does as Minelab claim, and I had no trouble locating tiny targets including gold in well worked patches, even on minimum sensitivity. Ground noise is virtually non-existent, and if you do come across a hot rock it is very quickly dealt with by the auto ground tracking. Target signals are very crisp and clear, and a good feature is the ability to select either Low or High audio tone. My general preference is the Low tone option, particularly through the inbuilt speaker, but tiny targets definitely stand out better on High with the supplied headphones.
While the SDC 2300 won’t replace the GPX 5000 for all-round prospecting (particularly for depth on larger nuggets), it is a very powerful no-fuss detector with small target sensitivity to rival some of the best high frequency VLFs, but with the smooth running and penetrating power of a Pulse Induction unit. In the limited testing I have carried out to date, I have found the SDC 2300 to have sensitivity slightly exceeding Fine Gold and Sensitive Extra timings found on the GPX 5000, but with the ground handling ability similar to Enhance. As most users will know, the GPX series are easily capable of finding gold down to 0.1 gram and smaller, but the pieces found in this size range are often quite solid/flat. The prickly nuggets, porous or as I call it “reefy” gold is what all P.I. detectors to date have struggled to find at any depth; the SDC 2300 with the new Multi Period Fast (MPF) technology is the first P.I. unit to break this rule.
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Note: Nenad is one of Minelab’s Treasure Talk blog writers, a contributor to Australian Gold Gem & Treasure magazine, and has recently started Phase Technical, offering Metal Detecting, Product Training & Technical Services to the industry.